Lisa Cox and Erin Lopez – Top Leaders in the Direct Sales Industry & Relationship Marketing, Speakers, Coaches and Best Selling Authors of the book, I DECIDE.
Can you share a little about what makes you an authority on building a great network?
We have spent collectively over 30 years building networks and successful sales team using our coaching and mentor skills to create relationships and communities leading to 100’s of millions of dollars in sales. After years of success, we took our knowledge of the industry and networking skills to create a best-selling book to teach and inspire others to make their own decisions to have ultimate success and joy in the process.
How important is networking for professional success, and why?
Networking is the activity that is necessary in business to lead you to the relationships, the people and the audience that will ultimately lead to your success. We know firsthand it is the relationships that we have built over the years through networking that have been the foundation of our businesses, our success and part of our lifelong community.
What's your usual ice-breaker question when meeting someone for the first time?
No scripts here! You never know what will come out of our mouths but our hearts and desires to authentically build relationships always seem to bring the right words. We are experts at reading a room and know how to pivot for each individual that we are speaking to – and now we happily teach others how to do the same.
How do you approach networking differently when you're meeting someone in person versus virtually?
We approach both in-person and virtual networking with the end goal to discover the other person’s needs, goals and wants. Virtual can be a bit more challenging without the ability to use body language, personal skills and environmental cues but we still take the opportunity to dig deeper and learn as much as possible about the other person. Finding connections, mutual desires and shared goals that can lead to future opportunities together. We vs. Me.
What are some common mistakes people make when trying to build their professional network, and how can they avoid them?
The biggest mistake when building a network can be made when a person focuses on their own self goals, financial gain and their own personal promotion rather than the other person. In our success, we have built networks serving the needs of others, focusing on their personal and financial goals while avoiding self-serving behaviors. Lifting up others has been our key to success in building organizations and communities over time.
Have you noticed any differences in the types of relationships you build through in-person versus virtual networking? If so, can you describe those differences?
When the world shifted years back, we pivoted quickly knowing our virtual skills would come in handy to serve the masses when we were needed most. Our business grew exponentially during those years while we showed up bigger and brighter on-screen while continuing to build relationships.
What are some strategies you've found effective for building rapport and establishing trust with someone you've only just met?
Our best strategy is to ask a lot of questions and understand that listening is more important than the actual talking. We listen for key details when someone is talking so we can not only make a connection but offer solutions to their needs. Our strategy is the opposite of what most would assume in a sales role, our focus is to be kind, compassionate and good humans wanting to build a rapport and make a difference in their life.
How can someone use social media and online networking to expand their professional network?
Know there are no limits! Social media and online networking are a never ending opportunity to reach and connect with people all over the entire world. Showing up consistently, we use social media to educate, entertain and inspire others while building our networks organically, naturally and purposefully.
What advice would you give to someone who is new to networking and trying to make connections in their industry?
Be normal, have fun, be YOU and be consistent. Building a business and a network is a marathon and not a sprint – relationships take time to build, as a new person have the daily discipline to show up and the confidence to keep going without a time stamp on your success.
1. Be Authentic. In a world of static and filters, this is your chance to be the person that shows up authentically, transparently and real. This is an opportunity to build trust and real connections that will make an impact in your personal life and brand but in also in others. In our book, I DECIDE, we have taken our ‘audience’ on journeys of despair, joy, triumph, success, failure all built on authenticity. This has helped build a network of individuals that can relate to these stories and can connect to the I DECIDE movement. Our authentic goal in writing I DECIDE is to help others make the decisions necessary to live out their very best lives.
2. Know your why. Building a network is similar to building a house and the foundation of that house starts with knowing your why. Knowing why you built the house – knowing why you are building a network. What gets you out of bed in the morning to move towards your end goal with excitement and passion. Having a strong why is the armor of protection when setbacks arise, it keeps you faithful in the daily process and steadfast in knowing failure is not an option. What people don’t see in our success is the rollercoaster of ups and downs that we highlight in our book to inspire others to embrace their why and build their network.
3. Play the Long Game. Too many people in life are looking for the quick win, the overnight success and the easy road. As entrepreneurs and successful coaches and mentors, we teach and focus on the concept of longevity practices. Success comes in different times, shapes and sizes for everyone and comparing your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 10 can only set you back. Networking is the same as success, it takes time, perseverance and belief in the process. No time stamps are allowed in both business and relationships.